2014 World Cup: Ghana ace Kwadwo Asamoah sparkles for Juventus in Europa League semis defeat
By Ameenu Shardow
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Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah made a significant contribution to help Juventus in their 2-1 defeat to Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League clash on Wednesday night.
The Black Stars playmaker provided the assist for Carlos Tevez to equalize for the Italian champions but Antonio Conte’s side couldn’t hold their marauding hosts at bay.
Juventus went down after just three minutes when Ezekiel Garay rose highest to head in a cross that beat the outstretched arms of Gianluigi Buffon in post.
The goal gave the home team a lot of confidence backed by their noisy fans but all the opportunities created thereafter were missed.
Juventus had their moments in the first half but never really imposed themselves onto their opponents.
The game went into recess with the hosts in front by a lone goal to set the tone for what promised to be an explosive second half.
The Italian champions as expected came out guns blazing to boss all the early possession.
Benfica were all too happy to soak the pressure only to hit on the counter.
This tactic however backfired as Kwadwo Asamoah fed Carlos Tevez on the edge of the box from the flanks in the 73rd minute.
The Argentine beat two sliding-in defenders with a dummy and coolly slot home at the near post to register his first goal in Europe in over five years.
The goal was well-deserved as Juventus had overtaken the initiative to create all the chances in the second half.
Benfica however restored their lead through substitute Lima who smashed in after a nice pass exchange with just six minute left to play.
And despite a late attacking surge by the visitors, the Portuguese side held on to take the slim advantage into the return encounter in seven days time.